Begging to Be Black

Antjie in Berlin
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Up until now, every visit to Europe has simply confirmed alienation, an irrefutable Africanness and, above all else, my Third World-ness. Until now. Poring for long hours over small scaffoldings of words seldom results in being wanted for nine months at a place like this, where one is supported by thirty other fellows, maintained, fed AND set free to do what one does best. One takes out a book by signing a card. In fact, one could bring all the squatters from Cape Town and say, Go for it here!

First the main arteries are cleaned, then the rest. This, yes, is where I am living. I am quite a phenomenon in the German class for speaking long fluid comprehensible sentences based on Afrikaans vocabulary and word order but with every single word wrong in terms of gender, tense and case-ending. Read yesterday a sentence in a newspaper consisting of seven sub-clauses. Quite normal, says the German teacher. One can do it because the gender, tense and case throw up little red flags in every clause to indicate time, gender and subject. But it is such a beautiful language.

I saw part of this poem in a newspaper advertisement for home loans. Do we have any poem in South Africa that would speak to all of us about houses? Would any advertisement use good poetry?

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If only you could have been here last night. Your daughter. One starts to appreciate the rituals that Europeans have created to make their long, dark winters bearable. Last week, after Berlin opened its impressive museums for free one night, historian Philipp Blom pointed out that Western culture has entered a phase in which it honours the old simply because it is old.

Apartheid Museum

Begging to Be Black book. Read 18 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. In , a gang leader was shot dead by a member of Umkhonto we . Begging to be Black [Antjie Krog] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. In , a gang leader was shot dead by an ANC member in Kroonstad.

Earlier, he wrote in Die Zeit, museums were places where one could go for the new and the strange, from exotic animals to dragons and scientific discoveries. But from the nineteenth century museums became obsessed with classification. Curators were appointed and everything had to be classified and labelled.

The wonderful, the inexplicable, was banned.

BOOK REVIEW: Antjie Krog

The middle classes have triumphed, a class without end. While rainforests disappear, walls of the Renaissance are restored. Even in the Louvre, Blom says, one finds helpful directions towards the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo; the rest of the artworks are mere background to the way of salvation.

Did you know that the biggest Northern Sotho department in world is at Humboldt University in Berlin and run by a beautiful young Afrikaner woman? I attended an event at the modern South African embassy where her students did a presentation of their research visit to Northern Sotho regions. Blond, energetic, innovative, fluent in Northern Sotho, they showed films, sang songs, danced. The black man next to me whispered: What on earth do they think they can do with this language?

Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Jun 18, Victoria Ray rated it really liked it.

'Begging to be Black': Liminality and Critique in Post Apartheid South Africa

I bought this book in Cape during my South Africa trip Valuable insights for people from all races, with the main idea that we need to see and appreciate each other as individuals no matter our social position or skin color. A mustread. Ooit raakte de Zuid-Afrikaanse dichteres Antjie Krog betrokken bij een moordzaak. In 'Niets liever dan zwart' probeert ze, jaren later, te begrijpen of het uiteindelijk een politieke of een criminele moord was. Het was destijds een enorm dilemma hoe ze moest handelen.

Moest ze getuigen tegen haar zwarte comrades van het ANC? In is ze een half jaar voor studi Ooit raakte de Zuid-Afrikaanse dichteres Antjie Krog betrokken bij een moordzaak. In is ze een half jaar voor studie en bezinning in Berlijn en heeft daar gesprekken met een Australische filosoof: 'Ik wil deel uitmaken van het land waarin ik ben geboren. Ik moet toch weten of het voor iemand als ik mogelijk is om me te vereenzelvigen met de meerderheid, om "zwarter" te worden?

Ze houdt van haar land maar voelt zich toch buitenstaander, voelt zich schuldig, worstelt met het blank zijn. Verzoening, vergeving,onderlinge verbondenheid, het zijn begrippen die steeds terugkomen in het boek. Misschien denken ze dan dat ze als primitieve inboorling worden gezien.

De veronachtzaming van onderlinge verbondenheid wordt een groot probleem wanneer elementen als vergeving, of aanvallen op anderen, of het gedrag van Afrikaanse leiders los gezien worden van een wereldbeschouwing met onderlinge verbondenheid. Een groot man met een loffelijk streven om voortdurend mensen met elkaar te verzoenen, hen in staat te stellen harmonieus in vrede met elkaar te leven.

Veel van wat hij zei bleef onbegrepen bij de zendelingen, bij de Britse overheersers en de Afrikaner boeren. Wel een moeilijk boek om te lezen onder meer omdat ik gewoon kennis mis om het helemaal goed te begrijpen. Ook kwam ik er later achter dat het eigenlijk het laatste deel is in een serie van En het gaat echt diep, wordt diepzinnig in gefilosofeerd. Wat is de mens, hoe is de mens, hoe bekijkt hij de wereld?

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Maar als conclusie kan ik zeggen dat het me veel inspanning kostte maar dat het een prachtig boek is, Krog formuleert prachtig. Om dat te laten zien heb ik haar vooral zelf aan het woord gelaten in deze reactie. En excuses dat het zo lang is geworden. Apr 15, Sean de la Rosa rated it really liked it. Building on themes from Country of My Skull and A Change of Tongue, she explorers in more detail what Africanness means and reasons why we are experiencing such levels of misunderstanding between the various cultures of our nation.

The book is a mix of vignettes of her stay in Berlin, South African history and poetry. Her writing style has you rereading certain paragraphs over and over - the beauty of the English language! Two short pieces that impacted me: -On national holidays we realise we have nothing in common - not what we read, not what we speak, not what we write, not what we sing, not whom we honour. Nothing binds us. Our daily third world lives are broken into hundreds of shards of unrooted, incoherent experiences.

We are just something cute, a mask to hang in a television lounge. We will never be recognised for having contributed something worthwhile to this world. View 1 comment. Mar 28, Naniki rated it really liked it. I have been wonderfully enamored. Mar 25, Francine Maessen rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction. Didn't expect the whole story of Moshoeshoe and I had to get used to it a bit I'm not always that much for oral-based literature but in the end I found it a wonderful and logical addition. I applaud Krog for being able to find the words in the difficult question of the differences between Western and African culture.

Mar 06, Justine Allen rated it it was amazing. She is an excellent writer. I loved every angle of the story. Oct 12, Megan rated it really liked it Shelves: africa. Antjie Krog's work generally takes the top of my head off, so to speak. In this book, she explores her yearning to truly experience blackness, though she is a white Afrikaner.

Through alternating chapters of her life and the life of Basotho king Moshoeshoe, who does seem to have been able relatively to straddle the line between his tribal culture and the worldviews of white missionaries, Krog attempts to determine whether one can ever truly experience another's life and existence. Four stars i Antjie Krog's work generally takes the top of my head off, so to speak.

Four stars instead of 5 because I think she can be overly discursive and pedantic in places. Enough with Deleuze already! Ik kijk omhoog; de Lindenbaum staat in bloei. Mijn hart springt op: dat is het dus! Het lied waar mijn moeder zo veel van houdt: 'Ich atmet' einen linden Duft! Ik blijf onder de boom staan, terwijl tekst en leven samenkomen in mijn lichaam, in mijn adem, in mijn uitgestrekte hand die de bleke gele bloesem a 9 juni Als ik vanaf de Villa Walther de blauwe gietijzeren brug oversteek, is er plotseling een geur.

Apartheid Museum

Ik blijf onder de boom staan, terwijl tekst en leven samenkomen in mijn lichaam, in mijn adem, in mijn uitgestrekte hand die de bleke gele bloesem aanraakt. Sep 08, Tessa rated it it was amazing Shelves: , south-africa , race , social-justice. This is a complicated, thoughtful, and important book. Krog, a white Afrikaner South African wrestles deeply and honestly with her race and her location in South Africa. She is not admit her privilege and complicity. Her honest writing helps her readers wrestle with our own locations and privileges.

For me personally, I was the least interested in the history sections of the book and yet I know they lent important lenses to her book as a whole.

This is a book that is so rich, I'd like to read it This is a complicated, thoughtful, and important book. This is a book that is so rich, I'd like to read it again and learn even more from the author. Oct 25, Gillian rated it really liked it Shelves: reads , non-fiction , biography , south-african.

This stimulated a lot of discussion in our book club. I loved it, but not quite as much as "Country of My Skull" which to me every white South African with half a brain should read. Krog's "Begging to be black" is a yearning to be able to understand and "live" inside the skin of people from other groupings, which I feel is a legitimate yearning for a white Afrikaaner of her age to have in South Africa.

Nov 13, Tiah rated it really liked it. Thought provoking, as always.